Thursday 25 May 2023

Frankly Farcical Fares (1)

How Much Does a Bus Ride Cost?

The Answer is £2 - Or Maybe Less!

With the introduction of the £2 maximum fare for a single journey, several periodicals looked around for some of the best bargains, either for length of journey or/and spectacular scenery for a modest two quid. The Guardian's list of five began with the celebrated 840 from Leeds to Whitby, although the Leeds to York bit of the route is nothing special.

Then there is the 599 along the shores of Lake Windermere ...
... The Jurassic Coaster X53 between Axminster and Weymouth ...
... route 12 between Brighton and Eastbourne ...
... and the Bronte Bus to Haworth and across the moors.
To these fbb could add the  685  between Newcastle and Carlisle ...
Ideally, you would include the Needles Breezer (Isle of Wight) ...
... but you will not get a ride for £2. SHAME.

But fbb will ask the question again?

For example, how much is a bus ride in Leicester? All three operators are, in theory, part of the Leicester Buses togetherness pact.

So you would expect togetherness with fares, surely.

Don't make fbb laugh!

Even before we look at the implications of the Leicester Buses scheme, the plethora of fares is astounding. Here is a First Bus list, undoubtedly the worst bus list.
As First does niyt admit to its single fares, even without the £2 cap, fbb cannot gauge how many Leicester folk would benefit from the new deal. But, clearly the £2 is more expensive than some single and return fares. But it is cheaper than the 2 trip and 10 trip tickets.

Thereafter it will all depend on how many journeys you make in a day. For most folk there will be a trip into town and a trip back, so £4 is the capped fare to compare, say, with a "normal' return; the latter being a closely guarded secret!

Once below the 3 day in 7 fare (list above - £12 capped), for most passengers, the new price of two capped singles a day will be more expensive than the various fares quoted above.
But the key question is: ...

Does it really need to be so complicated.

The answer, no it doesn't.

Does "the market" really justify 14 (fourteen!) different adult fare "deals" for a medium sized city like Leicester.

It wouldn't be so bad if these were the only fares on offer in Leicester.
Arriva (formerly Midland Fox, formerly Midland Red), was much more a country bus operator with interests in the developing outer suburbs of the city. Arriva has three zones for its fares; an outer zone for linger distance routes; a city zone (map below)
which is roughly equivalent to First's fares area and, oddly ...
... a special fare structure for service 158 which is now in cosy fellowship with Stagecoach's 148. fbb will compare the two when he seeks out Stagecoach fares in tomorrow's blog.

For the moment we stay with the city and discover that Arriva's fares are much simpler but much the same as First's ...
... but not quite.

Arriva's Fay ticket (£5) is the same as Firsts's but you have a TWO day ticket on the blue buses. The 3 day bundle is the same as First's 3 days in seven (at £13.50) but the full weekly ticket is a massive 10p dearer.


Only THREE more sets of fares to go and they will be in tomorrow's blog.

What's Going On?
A circle of card joins the shaving foam top; it is, as ever, held together with a clothes peg!

The Thot plickens.

Stanley Taxis : Stanley Buses : Stanley Coaches
The company operates school services and three normal public bus services. Routes 30 and 31 ...
... routes 713 and 714 ...
... and a delightful bumble round Lanchester village.
It fulfills the role of a community minibus.
Their coaching business ..
... is about to be enhanced by a tie-up with Flixbus.
Like McGills (recent news) and many others, Stanley will operate high spec coaches in Flixbus green.
Best wishes for the new venture Gavin.



The Christian Festival of Whitsuntide is, arguably the second most important festival of the Christian Year; the first being Easter. In British tradition they both have largely meaningless names. Whitsun owes its name to the tradition of wearing white clothing, or new clothing, or even Summer clothing for the weekend, and later for the Monday Bank Holiday.
In the Jewish Calendar and in most Christian Church traditions apart from UK and it's pals, the name is Pentecost. Pentecost (see Pentagon) means fiftieth day - i.e. (for Christians) the fiftieth day after Jesus' Resurrection.

John's Gospel (Chapter 14 Verse 16) provides a clue. Jesus tells his disciples that he is about to be killed and will therefore not be around for much longer. He then reveals ...

It is here that we begin to see the idea of "The Trinity" - one in three and three in one; Father God, Jesus the Son and the Helper.

The idea that God would send a Helper to, well, help people, after Jesus was gone, should be an important part of Faith.

And boy, do we all need help today!

If you want a good word to drop into conversation at the pub or at coffee mornings, try ...
... which comes from a Greek word meaning "someone who is called to come alongside someone else" - a posh word for a Helper! Paraclete or Helper it doesn't matter.

Jesus promised a reliable Helper. But How?

Sadly, in 1972 the Government in its wisdom disconnected the "Late May Bank Holiday" from Whitsun - so something of the idea of this key festival evaporated. 

We should not let it evaporate.


 Next Bus Fares blog : Friday 27th May 


  1. If FBB wants to learn more about why fares are different, there are assorted Competition & Market Authority publications that attempt to explain why they can't be the same...

    1. Does the CMA send anyone out to find out if Tesco and Sainsbury are charging the same price for a tin of beans?